Mickey Lee to deliver USC School of Cinematic Arts commencement address; Pro-Palestine valedictorian speech canceled over security concerns

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Mickey Lee to deliver USC School of Cinematic Arts commencement address;  Pro-Palestine valedictorian speech canceled over security concerns

The USC School of Cinematic Arts has announced that Mickey Lee will deliver the 20024 commencement address.

James Gray, director, writer and SCA alumnus, will receive the Mary Pickford Alumni Award at the graduation ceremony in the Shrine Auditorium on Friday, May 10, 2024.

“Mickey Lee is a true pioneer and ambassador of collaborative global filmmaking, and we are so pleased to share her insight and expertise with our graduate students,” Elizabeth M. Daly, dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, said in a statement. statement. “Mickey works across borders, cultures and genres, and supports the types of projects our students wish to create. We are very pleased that she agreed to be this year’s graduation speaker.”

SCA alumnus John M. Chu, who graduated with a BFA in Film and Television Production in 2003, will speak at this year’s main, university-wide commencement ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in Alumni Park.

As commencement speakers, Lee Brian Grazier and a recent list of renowned entertainment personalities including Ron Howard, Matt Reeves, Ryan Coogler, Jon M. Chu, Paul Feig, Jim Gianopulos, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Donna Langley, Barry Meyer, Ron Meyer, Sumner Have joined. Redstone, Jay Roach, Stacey Sher, and Laura Ziskin.

The Mary Pickford Alumni Award pays tribute to USC alumni whose achievements bring special distinction to the school and industry. Previous recipients of the honor include Prentiss Penny, Kevin Feige, William Fraker, Conrad L. Hall, Ray Harryhausen, Alan Ladd Jr., Jon LaDou, Mitchell Manning, Walter Murch, Shonda Rhimes, Jay Roach, Gary Rydstrom, Stacey Sher, John. Singleton, Lee Unkrich, Matthew Weiner, David L. Wolper, Brian Grazer, Robert Zemeckis, Laura Ziskin, Melissa Rosenberg, Suzanne Downey, Jennifer and Suzanne Todd, Amanda Silver, Leslie Iwerks, and last year’s recipient Tracy Oliver.

USC also confirmed that Muslim student Asna Tabassum’s 2024 commencement speech was canceled after she was accused of anti-Semitism.

The university cited security concerns in banning Tabassum from giving the graduation speech.

“Although it is disappointing, tradition must give way to safety,” said Provost Andrew Guzman. statement, “This decision is not only necessary to maintain the safety of our campus and students, but is consistent with the fundamental legal obligation – including the expectations of federal regulators – that the University act to protect students and our campus community. Keep.”

Guzmán added, “It applies the same values ​​and norms that we have used in the past to guide our actions. This in no way diminishes the remarkable academic achievements of any student considered or selected for valedictorian. To be clear: this decision has nothing to do with freedom of expression. To begin with there is no right to free speech. The issue here is how to best maintain the safety and security of the campus.”

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